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Download Richistan: A Journey through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Richistan: A Journey through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich Audiobook, by Robert Frank Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (640 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Robert Frank Narrator: Dick Hill Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2007 ISBN: 9781400174454
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Rich-i-stan (n): 1. a new country located in the heart of America, populated entirely by millionaires, most of whom acquired their wealth during the new Gilded Age of the past twenty years. 2. a country with a population larger than Belgium and Denmark; typical citizens include “spud king” J. R. Simplot; hair stylist Sydell Miller, the new star of Palm Beach; and assorted oddball entrepreneurs. 3. a country that with a little luck and pluck, you, too, could be a citizen of.

The recent explosion of wealth has created a new breed of multi-millionaires. Richistan takes readers inside a rarified world to see how blue collar workers turned billionaires are earning, spending, and living. From “Butler School,” where domestics are specially trained to serve the newly wealthy, to self-help groups for coping with the strains of $10 million incomes, you’ll discover how the nouveau riche learn to be riche. In addition, Richistan looks behind the glitz to find the real story behind new money and its impact on the richest nation in the world.

The rich have always been different from you and me, but Robert Frank’s revealing and funny journey through “Richistan” entertainingly shows that they are truly another breed.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “With emphasis placed here on the increasing gap between the wealthy, middle class, and poor, we also learn about the challenges to society of this great disparity, the responsibility that this abundant wealth carries, and Frank’s hope that some of this enormous pool of money will be used to solve widespread social problems. Excellent book.”

    Booklist

  • “Frank understands how great fortunes are made and how great fortunes are spent. I had a wonderful time reading this book.”

    Dominick Dunne, American writer and investigative journalist

  • “Thank goodness the Wall Street Journal has unleashed Robert Frank as its ‘wealth reporter,’ a title which hardly does him justice. His inexhaustible curiosity, piercing eye for detail, and understated wit reminds me of Tom Wolfe, which is about the highest praise I can bestow. I can’t remember the last time I’ve had so much fun with a work of nonfiction as I did reading Richistan.

    James B. Stewart, author of Den of Thieves

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tim | 2/20/2014

    " Breezy, insightful, and pleasurable. And for a social scientist interested in modern America, it is a gem. The author, obviously living the ultimate journo boondoggle, was assigned by the WSJ to cover ultra-rich Americans for years. But the end result is his characetreization of a new country -- bigger in population than many geographic countries, with a higher GDP than most! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Antigone | 2/11/2014

    " Funny and really ridiculous! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maren | 2/10/2014

    " Fascinating look at how the other half lives. Some of it was public info, but much of the insights, like why gas prices continue to climb (uber-rich people consume a ton and don't care about the rising cost with their millions) and other interesting thoughts. Not a rag on the rich, the poor, or any one in-between--simply investigative reporting. A great quick, interesting read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sean | 2/4/2014

    " a funny, fascinating, fast read. the chapter on Palm Beach philanthropic society is particularly entertaining. ultimately, no sympathy for the lot of them. but silver lining: at least the majority of them are Democratics and actively socially progressive. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 MaryJo | 2/1/2014

    " I am fascinated by the growing problem of income inequality in the US and this book drives home just how out of whack it's become. The author, a Wall Street Journal reporter, covers all facets of the lives of the ultra-wealthy (those with $10 million or more in assets) and shows how they live such different and removed lives from the rest of us that they've essentially created their own country, which he calls "Richistan." The author almost makes fun of this group, with his tone of voice, but it's also a very serious book in that he has laid out with exquisite detail just how far removed the ultra wealthy have become. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 1/28/2014

    " Some astonishing facts about the world of the very rich. For instance, did you know they have their own support groups for people who have $10 million? And rich kid camps for their kids to learn how to deal with all that money? And giving your wife a $50K car is cause for embarrassment (it should have been a $100K car instead!)? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 1/16/2014

    " so interesting-- but had enough 3/4 through "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anthony Bruno | 1/13/2014

    " A revealing portrait of the variety of rich people in America and the shocking ways they spend (waste?) their money. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terri | 12/22/2013

    " interesting...it's interesting to read about extremely wealthy people who don't feel that they have enough, and even more interesting to read about those who put their money into philanthropy and good works! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy | 11/19/2013

    " Reminded me of all those a-holes I went to law school with. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristin | 11/6/2013

    " As a fundraiser, this is required reading. Fascinating to have someone bright summarize that which I encounter in my work. He does seem to lack any inherent critique of the subjects he writes about. It's there, but one is not convinced he really wants to judge. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jason | 10/30/2013

    " An anthropological take on the ultra-rich. They're as scary as I had feared. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fiona | 10/22/2013

    " I can't say it was a gripping read, but it was interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz Short | 10/18/2013

    " Who knew the trials and tribulations of the super rich? Poor things, to be so worried about having a bigger yacht than their friends. This book let me be snarky and sound superior, but don't be fooled - I loved reading this stuff. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 8/29/2013

    " Fascinating! It is interesting to peek into the lives of old and new money. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 10/22/2012

    " Wow. You've never experienced wealth like you can through this book. It is mind-blowing (unless you already happen to be a millionaire). "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carolyn Yu | 9/1/2012

    " Quick read on trends in the upper-upper-class. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elisacantero | 7/14/2012

    " That whatever we have, we always want more. Even the wealthiest of the wealthiest think they need twice as much as they have. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 F | 6/15/2012

    " Well... fascinating. But Robert Frank isn't helping the situation. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nathan Glenn | 12/21/2011

    " I found this book fascinating. I find myself using the term 'Richistanis' for rich people now. It's such a fitting term; the lifestyle that people that Frank describes live is so far off and unreachable by most of us that it is like they live in a different country. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rick | 12/1/2011

    " Helps in understanding the rich and rich culture. May illuminate shadow (unconscious) motivations for the rich & pseudo-rich. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Avi | 11/17/2011

    " 8 on a scale of 1-10 "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pinky | 11/15/2011

    " The high cost of being rich. Especially good chapters: Butler Academy and the "service heart", Instapreneurs, Palm Beach. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 5/23/2011

    " My next job might be a Butler- apparently that is where the money is... This book REALLY shows how the money is NEVER enough... be happy with what you have. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Janet | 5/22/2011

    " Very little analysis, just uninteresting stories about wealthy people. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 ylin002 | 3/24/2011

    " fascinating insight into Richistan! at times, depressing. at times, hopeful. but totally a different world. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa | 3/15/2011

    " This wasn't the witty commentary a la P.J. O'Rourke I was hoping it was. However, there were a few interesting facts about how some new wealth is being used to affect politics in ways that benefit worthy causes. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Madeline | 3/1/2011

    " Part trash, part economics, part sociology. Over all an easy read with some interesting points as well as some juicy gossip. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie | 1/27/2011

    " An interesting look at the lives of the super rich. Not altogether surprising...And actually I found most of the conspicuous consumption quite nauseating. Still, it was interesting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 H.s. | 10/30/2010

    " Wow. You've never experienced wealth like you can through this book. It is mind-blowing (unless you already happen to be a millionaire). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Barbara | 5/16/2010

    " A lot of it was intriguing, but I ended up wandering away before I finished. Not the world I'd want to live in, thanks. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 3/29/2010

    " Entertaining; a good companion to David Brooks' Bobo book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 F | 12/30/2009

    " Well... fascinating. But Robert Frank isn't helping the situation. "

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About the Author
Author Robert Frank

Robert Frank is a senior special writer at the Wall Street Journal, where he writes a weekly column and daily blog called The Wealth Report. He has had postings for the Journal in Atlanta, London, Singapore, and New York, and was part of a team that won an Overseas Press Club Award in 1998 for its coverage of developing economies. Frank lives in New York with his wife and daughter.

About the Narrator

Dick Hill, named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine, is one of the most awarded narrators in the business, having earned several Audie Awards and thirty-four AudioFile Earphones Awards. In addition to narrating, he has both acted in and written for the theater.